Power outage reported on east side of Genesee County

By Howard Owens
Dec 6, 2021, 4:32pm

A power outage affecting more than 2,100 National Grid customers is reported on the east side of Batavia.

The outage includes all of Stafford, parts of East Bethany, Byron, and Batavia, including, it appears, Genesee Community College.

Town of Batavia Fire received a report of a wire down in the area of 5167 Sunset Terrace.

A smaller power outage is reported along Road Road, Town of Batavia, affecting 54 customers.  The ETA for power restoration is 5:45 p.m.

On the larger outage, crews expect to restore power by 6:15 p.m.

There is also a tree down blocking State Street Road near the Thruway.

Law and Order: Batavia woman accused of leaving small children unsupervised

By Howard Owens
Dec 6, 2021, 2:23pm

Kimberly Blue, 33, of Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt 2nd. Blue allegedly left several children under age 10 unsupervised for several hours on Nov. 20.  None of the children were harmed and they were turned over to relatives. The investigation is ongoing and Child Protective Services has been contacted. Blue was issued an appearance ticket.

Dean C. Siminski, 32, of Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, endangering the welfare of a child, and harassment 2nd.  Siminski is accused of engaging in a physical altercation with a child on Nov. 29 at 6:45 a.m.  He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $2,500 bail, $5,00 bond, or $15,000 partially secured bond.

Crystal A. Mounts, 44, of Batavia, is charged with two counts of petit larceny. Mounts is accused of stealing a package from a porch on North Street, Batavia, at 7:30 a.m., Nov. 23.  She is also accused of stealing a package from a residence on Summit Street. Mounts was issued an appearance ticket.

Christopher C. Taylor, 21, of Conesus, is charged with burglary 2nd and criminal contempt 2nd. Batavia police officers allegedly observed Taylor inside a specific residence in Batavia in violation of an order of protection. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $5,000 bail, $10,000 bond, or $20,000 partially secured bond.

John Hobbs, 34, of Batavia, is charged with theft of services and criminal contempt 2nd. Hobbs is accused of leaving a local restaurant on Nov. 4 without paying for his meal. He was allegedly at the restaurant in the company of a person he is not allowed to contact by court order. He was arrested at the Genesee County Jail on Nov. 24 and issued an appearance ticket.

Jessica Holtz, 38, is charged with petit larceny. Holtz is accused of shoplifting from a location on Jackson Street, Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket.

Miya R. Houseman, 21, of Medina, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Houseman was stopped at 2:13 a.m., Nov. 27, on Oak Street, by a Batavia PD patrol. Houseman was issued an appearance ticket.

Kara Brooke Sass, 27, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd (intent to sell), criminal possession of a controlled substance 4th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Sass was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and narcotics paraphernalia during a probation check of her residence at a mobile home park at 7:39 p.m., Dec. 3. Sheriff's deputies assisted probation officers at the scene. Sass was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Justin T. Calmes, 43, of Watson Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd.  Calmes is accused of violating an order of protection by following, approaching, and interacting with a person who is the subject of the court order at 2 p.m., Nov. 27, at a location on Pratt Road, Batavia. Calmes was arraigned and released.

Jitters about omicron variant holding oil prices down

By Press Release
Dec 6, 2021, 12:29pm

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.36, down three cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.16. The New York State average is $3.54 – down two cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.25. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $3.46 (up one cent from last week)
  • Buffalo - $3.46 (down one cent from last week)
  • Ithaca - $3.51 (down one cent from last week)
  • Rochester - $3.52 (down one cent from last week)
  • Rome - $3.56 (down two cents from last week)
  • Syracuse - $3.49 (down one cent from last week)
  • Watertown - $3.58 (down two cents from last week)

Crude oil prices tumbled amid news of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, and national pump prices quickly followed dropping three cents over the past week. It’s too soon to tell if fears of a global economic slowdown caused by the Omicron variant will push oil prices lower for the long term. But for now, the upward pricing pressure due to tightened supply and high demand seems to have abated as pump prices appear to be stabilizing. If oil prices remain lowered, local pump prices should follow.

From Gas Buddy:

"The downturn in average gas prices continued to gain momentum last week as oil prices remained at a hefty discount. This is largely due to continued anxiety over the omicron variant and because some countries have begun issuing lockdowns, keeping motorists in some countries from consuming as much fuel," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "While the Great Lakes region, the fastest to see prices respond to market fluctuations, is seeing hefty monthly declines approaching 30 cents per gallon, much of the rest of the country is lagging behind. But, we will see precipitous declines in the next week or two as stations continue to sell through higher priced inventory before slowly lowering their prices. It's not impossible given the conditions that price wars, where stations lower their price significantly, could emerge as stations now have considerable room to lower prices."


BBA South team rallies in final event to capture Karl Marth Cup bowling competition for second straight time

By mikepett
Dec 6, 2021, 10:11am


The BBA South rallied in the final event – four-man Baker-style Team – to upset host BBA North, 64-59, in the 27th annual Karl Marth Cup bowling competition Saturday at Medina Lanes.

The win is the second straight for the South squad, which is comprised mostly of bowlers from the southern portion of the former Batavia Bowling Association. The match did not take place last year due to COVID-19.

Still, the BBA North, consisting of bowlers from the northern part of the former BBA, has the upper hand in the series, 15-12.

The Baker teams of Mike Johnson, Paul Spiotta, Geoff Harloff and Jason Quilliam, and Jim Pursel, Scott Culp, Fred Gravanda and Matt Balduf swept their matches to earn 18 points, while the other Baker team of Ed Doody, Steve O’Dell, Josh Elliott and Rick Underhill managed to take two of seven points as the South came back from a 52-44 deficit.

The South opened with an 13-11 advantage in Doubles, before the North took the Baker Doubles competition, 15-9, and the Singles events, 26-22.

Individually, Jake Rosenbeck of Medina earned the Scott Wright Memorial Award by averaging 259 – including a 299 game – while winning three of his four matches. Teammate Brian Cline averaged a whopping 265 for his matches, but only compiled a 2-2 records as he went against the South’s Scott Culp (238 average) each time.

The South’s Jason Quilliam, making his Marth Cup debut, received the Joe Trigilio Memorial Award by averaging 221 en route to winning three of his four matches.

Submitted photo: Members of the BBA South team are, front from left, Geoff Harloff, Jason Quilliam, Matt Balduf, Steve O'Dell; back, Josh Elliott, Jim Pursel, Mike Johnson, Scott Culp, Ed Doody (captain), Paul Spiotta, Rick Underhill and Fred Gravanda, posing together after win.

Neuman, Baker, Fonte post 800 series in league play

By mikepett
Dec 5, 2021, 6:06pm

Three bowlers cracked the 800 mark -- with two of them recording perfect games as well -- in Genesee Region USBC league bowling action this past week.

On Wednesday, Ray Neuman rolled 300--823 in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes, and Tim Fonte had a pair of 279 games en route to an 806 series in the Wednesday Classic League at Mount Morris Lanes.

On Friday, Tom Baker started with 279 and 300 in an 804 series in the County Line Stone Friday Trios League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

And this morning, Michael Schepis posted a 300 game in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes. He fell just short of 800 with 797.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

With high-wind warning for tonight, National Grid increasing staffing

By Howard Owens
Dec 5, 2021, 2:00pm

Statement from National Grid:

National Grid is increasing staffing, extending evening and overnight work shifts and closely monitoring an upstate New York weather forecast that calls for high winds, with gusts up to 60 mph, and a wintry mix of precipitation across portions of the region tonight through Monday evening.

Schumer wants at-home test kits more readily available to deal with Omicron spread

By Press Release
Dec 5, 2021, 1:47pm

Press release:

With COVID’s Omicron variant spreading, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said the key to controlling it centers around the at-home tests now for sale across the country. Schumer praised President Biden for prepping a plan to be released on January 15th that will have insurance companies reimburse for the cost of an at-home test—but, he said, while we wait, he wants a surge of rapid at-home tests sent to New York community health centers and their mobile sites, across the state.  

“While many portions of the country are waiting for the omicron variant to arrive, New York already has cases—but this doesn’t mean we should panic. It means we should be planning,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. 

“You see, a key to controlling Omicron is the at-home test, where you can swab your own nose, follow simple steps, determine if you have COVID, and take the right steps thereafter. Right now, these at-home tests are pretty affordable across the country, but they’re not free, but they should be. So, I am asking for the feds to send a surge of these to New York CHCs and their mobile sites where they should come at no cost. We should be arming the public with at-home tests to stay ahead of this variant into the winter,” Schumer added.   

Schumer urged for these at-home tests to be totally free, as in no fine print. He said people should be able to walk into a CHC or visit one of their mobile sites and pick up an at-home test free of charge. Schumer urged a surge of the at-home tests to New York, especially, saying that omicron is already here and that we must work now to contain its spread. Schumer said the funds to pay for these free tests have already been appropriated to HHS via the American Rescue Plan (ARP) he helped pass through Congress and the president signed into law.

Last week, the Biden administration announced its winter plan to beat back COVID. The administration will soon mandate insurers reimburse Americans for purchasing at-home tests. Three federal departments will issue the guidance for this action on Jan. 15. The guidance will stipulate that people who buy the tests will be able to seek reimbursement from their group health plan or health insurer and have it covered during the public-health emergency, according to the Wall Street Journal. The administration has authority to do this under legislation that Congress passed in March that required group health plans and issuers to cover diagnostic Covid-19 testing, the Journal reported. 

In the meantime, Schumer, today, is saying that sending a surge of these at-home tests to New York can once again utilize the CHC infrastructure that made getting shots in arms successful during the earliest days of vaccine availability. 

The Omicron variant has been detected in 11 states so far, and about 40 countries. Scientists are also still investigating the impact of the Omicron variant, how contagious it is, how easily it might spread, and more. Schumer, today, said this is exactly why a surge of at-home tests and a campaign to have people use them could make all the difference.

“We have this tool we didn’t have early on—an at-home test,” said Schumer. “It’s one of the keys to keeping this recovery going, and we ought to use them.”

According to the WHO, the most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to keep a physical distance of at least 6-feet; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and get vaccinated. 

There are more than 70 federal community health centers (CHC) with 800 sites throughout New York, according to the Community Health Care Association of NY.

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